Monday 2012-12-10

Freedom™ by Daniel Suarez

Suarez's sequel to DaemonSuarez seems tongue-in-cheek as the heroes of the new world substitute one broken form of governance for another: from the cozy interplay of government and corporations to a plutocracy of level'd up gamers.

In the series, the cost of producing scary effective bots keeps falling, so that the balance between offense and defense tips decidedly in Offense's favor. The current reactive centralized forces (police, army, security) can't cope and get demolished.

Suarez's revolution starts by creating lots of bots and taking advantage of the offense/defense asymmetry by striking first. As revolutionaries become settlers, they then are attacked, and they respond by creating the same assembled powers as that which they revolted against.

What needs to happen is for the balance of offense vs defense to be pushed back towards defense. The revolution needs to arm themselves with cheap defenses against bot/bio/chem warfare.

Society currently seems to be building "perfect" information and surveillance systems; these will never make us safe. We need to work on making effective personal defense systems Wal-Mart-cheap.